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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 3.5 yo whom we moved from the family bed to her own bedroom a year ago. We took a couple months to do it very lovingly and slowly, and she was liking her new room a lot. Now all of a sudden she's afraid of monsters and things hiding in the closet, the shadows, and under the bed. She's afraid of the curtains moving with the breeze of the fan.<br><br>
We put her to bed and 2 hours later she's still coming out of bed with some excuse or another to stay up. One night we counted 8 times. Her room is very well-lit, we even leave the hall light on. SIL is staying with us at present and sleeps on dd's bottom bunk so she's not alone in the room. But she's still scared and according to SIL wakes up wimpering sometimes. She joins us at around 3 AM. Baby's in our room sleeping in a bassinet.<br><br>
Now dh and I have agreed that she kicks way too much for her to be sleeping in the family bed. No one gets any sleep but her and usually dh ends up retreating to the sofa while I get the brunt of the kicks. So last night we told her she could sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor at the foot of our bed. We all slept okay, but now dh and I kinda want to know if this is a good long-term solution. We enjoy having the bedroom to ourselves since baby's too young to know what's going on should we be intimate. With SIL visiting for the next 1.5 mos there's no other place in the house to go.<br><br>
So how can we gently encourage dd to get back to her own bed and stop being afraid of monsters?<br><br>
Thanks!<br>
Darshani
 

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My dd who will be 4 in September is similar. She was fine in her own bed up until about a year ago. Then after a trip to Disneyland she not only had to be in our bed but had to have me in there with her.<br><br>
My ped told me that at this age it is so common for kids to have vivid dreams and not yet know they are not real. Also, any kind of over stimulation or scary movie, show or even commercial could be giving her bad dreams or scary thoughts.<br><br>
A friend of mine had a similar experience with their then 2 1/2 year old. Also after a trip to Disneyland. She ended up using homeopathy to help her deal with the trauma of a scary ride. Aconit 30C one time is what she took. It really helped but it still took a lot of love and understanding to get her back into her own room.<br><br>
We have both kids in our bed, and MIL in the guest room. I totally hear you on lack of intamate space. We've even joked about using the car!! Hang in there! I think that letting her know that she can come sleep on the floor if she's scared is a great way to transition her. It's not too fun on a hard floor.<br><br>
Another option (this didn't always work for us but worth a try) what about going into her bed with her when she's scared? Not a very fun option when you could stay in your own warm bed but this might help her to associate feeling safe in her own bed.
 

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My ds is four and just in the past few months started sleeping in his own bed. Sometimes we still need to go lie down with him until he goes to sleep. And sometimes he still gets up and needs us. I just remind myself that nothing is permanent and everything could change next week. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Is she really afraid of the DARK, or is it more about the monsters? Sometimes having light in the room can be more frightening because it creates shadows that look like scary things. If your room is darker than hers, I would bet that darkness is not the problem and that reducing the light in her room will help.<br><br>
Another idea is to get her a toy that will "protect" her by "scaring away" the monsters. For my brother this was a horrifying 8" rubber spider. Setting it next to his pillow was part of the nightly ritual, and if he got up to pee he would carry it with him. It worked like a charm!! In the morning he would tuck the spider in bed to rest from its night of vigilance. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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A friend of mine made her own 'monster spray'. You can buy it in children's stores, but it's stupidly expensive! She just purchased some lavender and chammomile essential oils and an inexpensive mister bottle. She and ds had fun making a 'no MONSTERS ALLOWED' label to tape on the bottle. She filled it with water and added a couple of drops of each oil (both are supposed to have a soothing effect). She'd spray some 'monster repellant' under ds's bed and just above his pillows, and whereever else ds wanted before bed time. Then, she'd leave the spray on ds's night table so he could use it if he woke up at night and felt afraid.<br><br>
This approach did work for her. I don't know if encouraging a child to believe in monsters is the way to go....but if youget desparate, it's worth a try!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Also, have you tried giving her one of your shirts or a blankie with your scent on it to sleep with? This also seems to work for some kiddos...the concept is that if they wake up, they may be comforted enough by your scent to not wake up completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, some great ideas! I think I'll try the Monster Spray first. How fun!<br><br>
Dd is still in our room in the sleeping bag, but sleeping very soundly, more soundly than she has in ages. So maybe she just needs mom and dad for awhile, but in the sleeping bag, not in our bed.<br><br>
BTW we have a big walk-in closet that's fairly private. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Darshani
 

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ooooh, the closet- not bad! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I love the monster spray idea! We have fairy dust that we bought- $15!! but they both love it. I spray it on them while they're in the bath or any other time I'm about to throw someone out a window!!<br><br>
Keep us posted!!
 

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Monster Spray work and the dust would to I think.<br><br>
My boys each sleep with a flashlight and they also have a night light PLUS they have the thermometer ( the baby monitor<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> on in their room so that they know the minute they call me I will come running, they did test this theory the first few nights!
 
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